It is not without justification, that Balkh was called the “mother of all cities” (umm-al-belad) due to its wealth and antiquity. Balkh was old long before Alexander’s raid. Balkh was also an unrivalled city when the Silk Road was the chief artery of commerce between East and West. But the invading troops of Mongolian Genghis Khan brought an annihilation to Balkh, which never recovered after and faded into a dusty village. But Balkh is still a magnet for Afghan visitors, as the village is full of tomb shrine of holy saints. And for those who are seeking for the glorious past, the melting walls of the old city enclosing a vast field of rubble and wreckage actually serve more as a place of memories rather than celebrated monuments.

Balkh, Afghanistan, 2008

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